Endocrine Society experts examine how diabetes harms body's smallest blood vessels

November 8, 2017, The Endocrine Society

The Endocrine Society issued a new Scientific Statement today examining how diabetes damages the body's smallest blood vessels as well as how the condition affects the body's natural repair processes designed to protect the eyes, kidneys, nerves and other organs.

Despite extensive research into the widespread effects of high on the small that make up the body's microvascular system, these complications continue to plague millions of individuals who have diabetes.

One of the most common complications - diabetic peripheral neuropathy - is a common form of nerve damage that causes loss of feeling in the hands, feet and legs. It affects about 21 percent of individuals 40 and older who are diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Society's Endocrine Facts and Figures Report. One in three individuals with diabetes has an eye complication called , and 34.5 percent have some form of .

"The latest research shows that maintaining tight control over and blood pressure can help to reduce the risk of complications such as diabetic retinopathy," said Eugene J. Barrett, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., who chaired the task force that developed the Scientific Statement. "The issue is these goals also can put individuals at elevated risk for dangerous episodes of , called hypoglycemia, or cardiovascular complications. Healthcare providers need to balance the competing goals and consider the individual patient's needs to develop an appropriate treatment plan."

In addition to the three primary microvascular complications, the statement authors examined the current understanding of conditions such as dementia. Scientific evidence suggests individuals who have diabetes and peripheral nerve issues may be at greater risk of developing microvascular complications in the brain. Improved understanding of how diabetes harms the brain's tiny blood vessels may help to avert cognitive decline and dementia that some individuals experience.

"Although research is gradually improving our understanding of the microvascular conditions related to diabetes, it is disappointing that these complications continue to compromise the quantity and quality of life for people with diabetes," Barrett said. "By understanding and building on current research findings, we hope the future will bring new preventative approaches and treatments that will be effective for future generations."

Explore further: Diabetes threatens kidneys, vision of millions of Americans

More information: The statement, "Diabetic Microvascular Disease: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement," will be published online in the Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism at academic.oup.com/jcem/article- … 0.1210/jc.2017-01922 . The statement will be published in the December issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Related Stories

Diabetes threatens kidneys, vision of millions of Americans

September 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Millions of Americans with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes are at risk for chronic kidney disease, and another 59,000 Americans, 40 and older, are at risk for diabetes-related blindness.

Medalist study underlines importance of glucose control in adults with Type 1 diabetes

July 27, 2017
"People are living longer with type 1 diabetes, and the onset of complications is taking longer," says Hillary Keenan, Ph.D., a Joslin Diabetes Center Assistant Investigator and co-Principal Investigator on the Joslin 50-Year ...

Diabetes complications linked to rising risk of dementia

July 9, 2015
People who have diabetes and experience high rates of complications are more likely to develop dementia as they age than people who have fewer diabetic complications, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's ...

Diabetics can keep disease complications at bay

November 25, 2016
(HealthDay)—People with diabetes are at risk for vascular complications due to high blood sugar levels, but can take measures to reduce that risk, an expert says.

Study indicates that statins may protect against microvascular complications of diabetes

September 10, 2014
The development of common diabetes complications that can lead to blindness and amputations could be reduced by taking statins, indicates new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Glucose variation doesn't affect microvascular complications

April 18, 2017
(HealthDay)—Measures of glycemic variability in type 1 diabetes, based on complete quarterly 7-point glucose profiles, fail to provide evidence that glycemic variability contributes to the risk of development or progression ...

Recommended for you

A novel insulin accelerant

October 17, 2018
Insulin levels rise after eating a meal, signaling uptake of circulating glucose by skeletal muscle. In individuals with diabetes this process is often impaired—a condition known as insulin resistance.

Fat tissue may play a crucial role in the progression of diabetes, challenging long established notions

October 12, 2018
A new study by Australian researchers, out today, is challenging what we know about the causes of diabetes. The new research points to fat tissue as a source of disease, and widens our understanding beyond the traditional ...

Does breastfeeding hormone protect against type 2 diabetes?

October 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—The hormone prolactin—most commonly associated with breastfeeding—may play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Markers of dairy fat consumption linked to lower risk of type two diabetes

October 10, 2018
Higher levels of biomarkers of dairy fat consumption are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research published today in PLOS Medicine. The study, in more than 60,000 adults, was undertaken ...

Planned intermittent fasting may help reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors

October 10, 2018
Planned intermittent fasting may help to reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports after three patients in their care, who did this, were able to cut out the need for insulin treatment ...

New discovery restores insulin cell function in type 2 diabetes

October 8, 2018
By blocking a protein, VDAC1, in the insulin-producing beta cells, it is possible to restore their normal function in case of type 2 diabetes. In preclinical experiments, the researchers behind a new study have also shown ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.